Jeff Sexton

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Google Photos and Photos in Google

I thought of something today that I'd like to do with a couple photos I have. The photos are in Google Photos in an album created about a year and half ago. I'd also like to add a photo to that album.

Now, I keep local copies of all my camera-taken photos, and always have. But phone-taken photos often end up just uploaded. I don't have time to get them onto a PC from my phone. I take 20-50 photos everyday with my phone, it's just way too much. So I don't have a local copy of this particular Google Photos album.

Remarkably, as near as I can figure, there is no way to do what I wanted to do, using either mobile or desktop Google tools. There is no way to search for an album. Even if you find a photo that is in that album, there is no way to get to the album from there. Even if you find the album in the infinite scrolling list, which would take all afternoon, there is no way to open it and add a photo. Even if you get past all that somehow, you can still only do actions on photos one at a time.

I can find old Google+ posts that have each photo, but I can't get to the album from there either. Nor can I do much with the one photo. Other than download it I guess...

So... Out of luck. I can not create the series of posts I had in mind. It's simply impossible to do the most basic tasks with Google Photos. Not hard. Not inconvenient because of menu arrangements (it has those problems too), but literally impossible.

I'm thinking we all are headed toward a brick wall of sorts. I have many years of photos in Google storage. Most I have local copies that I can use elsewhere as Google renders itself useless. But for others, there is simply going to be no way to access and use them!

So there is no misunderstanding, I do not rely on Google for storing and organizing photo files. I have 5 or 6 copies or my entire archive on multiple media types. I also have photos stashed on three other "cloud" services, in additional to Google Drive.

Google and others have over the years provided tools that made additional things possible. For example, I was servicing watches, and taking photos of them, before Google+ existed. But Google+ allowed me to share more, a lot more, using a convenient mobile phone camera - which I didn't use until Google made it convenient. It is easy to grab my phone and take photos while working, and have these "magically" appear online.

It is ironic that after so many years and so many tools, I am right back were I began. On my own, with locally managed photos, and no practical way to share many. Even as Google backs out of support for photos, I'll keep taking pictures, just not nearly as many, not while I'm working, and I won't have the photos to share online. And as for the ones already out there on Google+, as I say above, those are already rendered useless so the point is moot. As for Google Photos, it is becoming an unordered, unorganized, unsearchable heap in service of day to day shares to Google tools (including blogger), and nothing else.

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